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Old 05-01-10, 08:28 AM
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Bender Bending Rodriguez, Esq.
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Michael Farber: Game 1 injuries to shape Game 2

PITTSBURGH -- In the annual playoff rite of attrition, the Penguins won the battle, 6-3, but they tied the war. For Pittsburgh, the casualty was center Jordan Staal, who was spotted leaving Mellon Arena before the conclusion of Game 1 on crutches with an apparent injury to his right knee. For Montreal, the casualty was defenseman Andrei Markov, who left the ice in the first period after seemingly hurting his left ankle or leg -- "Lower body injury, he will reevaluated tomorrow," said that font of information, coach Jacques Martin -- after a hit by Matt Cooke. So whose loss will be more significant? Let's look at the impact of the two stars. The initial impulse is to suggest that any hope of a second major playoff upset by Montreal went au revoir with Markov's injury. Not that the Canadiens figured to jump the tanned, ready and rested Penguins even with 25 sterling minutes from one of their alternate captains. After all, the Canadiens are not stats in a fantasy hockey pool but human beings, even if they gave a superhuman effort in blocking 41 shots to help dispatch the favored Capitals in Washington 48 hours earlier. And while he didn't exactly sparkle against the Capitals -- or since his return from the Olympics, if we're being completely frank - Markov eats minutes. He averaged 26:26 in the first round.

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